How to Be a Smart Patent Investor

The True Cost of Patent Protection, and an Ideal Tool to Make Smarter Patent Decisions Your favorite patent attorney would love to write about all the news of the season, but by the time this old-fashioned printed news reaches you, it would be laughably out of date. My quick summary is that about 5-10% of my top client contacts (owner, CEO) have contracted and recovered from COVID in the past few months, and most of my clients report a number of their own employees have been out with it, all recovering. It’s going around middle America, and I suspect it will burn  [...]


As I’ve written before, sometimes the Patent Office grants a patent that simply shouldn’t have been granted. (Even government employees make a mistake now and then, after all). The important question is what do you do when you’re accused of infringing a patent you think should never have been granted? One famous but harmless example of a bad patent was the “Method of Swinging” involving pulling on the swing set ropes alternately to swing side to side, like every child has done. Oops! Fortunately, no playground moppets received cease-and-desist letters. The  [...]


BRANDING STRATEGY FOR MY NEW PRODUCT Just a mock-up, but getting real. Finally, I can now reveal how a trademark attorney picks brands, and even goes a bit overboard to maximize the potential value of the venture.  It’s all about my hex key tool invention concept I wrote about in August. To recap, I used to get irritated with needing two Allen wrench sets and never knowing whether a socket head screw was metric or standard.  Even with both sets in hand, I not only had to test each set to find the biggest tool that fit, but then had to assess which best fit  [...]

Stop the Worrying!

To SHOT or Not to SHOT? Before I start the main story, I have to address what everyone is asking me about: Will there be a SHOT Show?  My current take is that it might happen in some form but would be a faint shadow of its usual self, with many companies pulled out for the year, and many regular attendees skipping.  Some data points I have heard but can’t confirm:  No product handling - Everything under glass.  Masks required - no lip-reading in a noisy environment.  Clear barriers on conference tables – even harder to hear the person you’re talking to about  [...]

Managing Uncertainty

It’s taken me 30 years of practice to realize it, but most of what I do is help clients manage decision making in an uncertain world.  Getting comfortable with uncertainty, and managing it wisely are keys to success. The Covid-19 pandemic is a good example.  At the outset, it looked like it might be very bad.  I’m talking about ambulances hauling away dead neighbors on my cul-de-sac.  The kind of bad that makes you glad you stayed home from the beginning and sanitized the mail and groceries before touching them.  That was one scenario among many milder ones,  [...]


The Only Allen Wrench Set I UseLast month, I ran out of space before I could reveal more about my patent pending invention, which I think has promise to be an actual hit product you’ll see on the market.  Contrary to the advice I give new inventors that there’s little hope companies will notice your patent and offer to buy or license the rights, I think this one could actually be on retail shelves generating royalty checks for yours truly.  But the patent is the easy part, and getting licensees interested comes later. The Problem In engineering school, our product  [...]